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Re: officially signed packages
On 04/07/14 04:27, Alistair Crooks wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 06, 2014 at 06:37:36PM +0200, Pierre Pronchery wrote:
>> I'd say one important thing is the ability to verify package
>> signatures without relying on any package to be installed already. I
>> think that's possible for X509-based signatures. In the case of GPG
>> signatures though, installing security/gnupg is currently required -
>> and it obviously can't verify itself while installing.
> That's what security/netpgpverify is meant for - it has zero pre-req
> packages. As a bonus, it also verifies ssh key signatures.
> As far as X.509 signatures go, the problem is not the signatures
> themselves, it's how the trust is conveyed to go with the key. I've
> yet to sign someone's X.509 key. In fact I've yet to have someone
> sign my X.509 key.
Apart from the fact that you don't have one .. it may also be because
that's because that's not how X.509 typically works.
In X.509 PKI you trust certificates (read: public keys) _through the
Certificate Authority_. Instead of determining which certificates to
trust using a web of trust, you verify the certificate against the CA
chain. If it verifies ok, then you know the CA issued it, and you can
trust the certificate. Note the implied trust model: You must know that
you can _really_ trust your CA, and you must know that the CA will only
issue certificates to trusted parties. That's how you know you can
trust a certificate in X.509.
(You can - obviously - use a separate web of trust in X.509 too, but
.. why would you? Then you might just as well use PGP..).
I used to (very) strongly prefer PGP over X.509, nowadays I see them
as being equally useful, but in different situations. In the case of
signing packages, X.509 PKI is well-suited because TNF is a perfect type
of entity to be a CA. That being said, the X.509 tools out there are
user-hostile, counter-intuitive, ugly, annoying, and down-right bad[*].
So while conceptually I'm all for TNF becoming a CA, the lack of
non-user-hostile tools makes me feel that the PGP route is better in the
end. ..as long as we have netpgp(verify).
[*] I think this may be a direct result of X.509 being very
"Enterpise":ish. "Enterprise" environments need counter-intuitive tools
in order to survive.
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